West Nile Virus Monthly Update: Virus is active with one new positive mosquito sample in May

Santa Fe Springs, Calif. — While schools are winding down for the year, West Nile virus (WNV) is starting to make a comeback. In May, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) confirmed the second West Nile virus positive mosquito sample in Los Angeles County for the year.

GLACVCD collected the latest sample of mosquitoes in Cudahy (zip code 90201), following another positive sample collected in Sylmar (zip code 91342) in March. Statewide, there have been positive mosquito samples reported in six counties this year.

(View the latest WNV statistics HERE)

“As long as we have mosquitoes and water sources, West Nile virus isn’t going away,” says Levy Sun, the District’s public information officer. “Despite the drought, the warm weather and neglected water sources – such as swimming pools and flowerpot saucers – provide perfect conditions for mosquitoes to thrive.”

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  There is no cure for West Nile virus.  One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms.  Symptoms usually occur between 5 and 15 days and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash.  These symptoms can last for several days to months.  One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization.  Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.

Any water left standing for more than one week in containers such as flower pots, fountains and pet dishes provides the perfect breeding habitat for mosquitoes.  GLACVCD would like to remind residents that even the smallest of breeding sources can contribute to a large public health problem within the Greater Los Angeles County area.

Residents can take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV in their neighborhoods by taking the following steps:

  • Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week
  • Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained
  • Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly
  • Request FREE mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds
  • Report mosquito activity near vacant or foreclosed homes to your vector control district
  • Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district

For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656 or online at glacvcd.org.